This year the Queensland Police Service is determined to get the message out that there’s no excuse for elder abuse.
Elder abuse is any act within a relationship of trust which results in harm to an older person.
Elder abuse can take various forms such as physical, psychological or emotional, sexual and financial abuse. It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect.
Using the funds of an elderly parent without their knowledge, such as skimming their pension or taking their key card, is elder abuse. So is intimidating an elderly person into signing legal documents to hand over assets or make new wills. Someone neglecting the care of an elderly person they’re responsible for is elder abuse, and can have devastating effects on health and wellbeing.
Sadly, it is most often close family members who are the abusers. This can mean older people are less willing to tell someone, or we are reluctant to identify this behaviour in others, and it stays hidden.
It’s vital to start a conversation and recognise these different forms of abuse so we can effectively combat it as a community.
Visit the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors website for more information.
They provide resources to help you see whether a situation might be abusive, and will give you the tools you need to identify, support and report.
If you are concerned about someone, you can contact the Elder Abuse Helpline (1300 651 192) for free, confidential advice and support.
In an emergency always call Triple Zero (000).
For free legal and support services, contact your local Seniors Legal and Support Service:
- Brisbane: (07) 3214 6333
- Cairns: 1800 062 608 or 07 4031 7179
- Hervey Bay: (07) 4124 6863
- Toowoomba: (07) 4616 9700
- Townsville: (07) 4721 5511
Call 1300 063 232 for support and advice services located in Gladstone, Gold Coast, Mackay, Rockhampton and Sunshine Coast.
If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.
You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers.